This year is showing definite signs that the UK dubstep movement is rapidly growing in size and popularity. At its core one of the centre acts pioneering this movement is the groundbreaking dubstep duo of Nero.
The two man group of Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray is causing a major stir in not just in the underground dubstep scene but making an impact on the UK charts with their last single ‘Guilt’ reaching an impressive 8 in the charts, accomplishing a never done before live mix of orchestral music and dubstep for the BBC Dubstep symphony and with their upcoming debut 'Welcome Reality' almost upon us, they show no signs of slowing down.
First of, what has been the most memorable experiences of this year for you so far?
J: Well 'Guilt' coming out certainly has to be one which did really amazing in the charts for us, it was kind of unexpected and we also were able to shoot a great video where we were able to put some money to spend on it which was really fun. Also the release of our album which we’ve been waiting about two years for and we just can’t wait for it to be out as it has been put back many times for various reasons.
One of your stand out performances this year was the BBC Dubstep Symphony that you did not so long ago, was it how you imagined it would turn out?
J: Yes and no. It was harder on the day than we thought to get the sound right to the people at home because, in our heads we’d imagined the orchestra doing their piece and we would be doing the basslines and drum bits. I can see why no one had really done it in this scale before because it takes a lot of work to do, we only a few days rehearsal, the composition itself was great even though the sound quality wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. However we’ve now been able to get all of the recordings for the day and remastered it so it sounds as boisterous as we want, all in all we were so amazed to have the opportunity to do it.
Was the dubstep symphony a one off or will you want to do something like it again?
J: We’d love to do it again! It was 18 minutes long and we thought it could of gone on for a bit longer maybe another 10 minutes, so given the opportunity we’d happily do it again and we’d love to do more kind of cinematic like compositions using orchestras in the future.
This week you’re jetting over the Atlantic to play some gigs in Canada, what is it like to perform over there and America?
J: It’s a really good vibe there and we always like to go back and then return raving about what a great time it was. I did camp Bisco in New York the other week and it was incredible with thousands of people in the tent just going off all the time, I get to play some stuff I don’t usually play here like System of a Down as they’re more into their metal than here which is what I used to be into.
What kind of music other than your own do you like to listen to whilst you’re on the road in between performances?
J: I’m mostly into listening to indie stuff now like Friendly Fires, I think their new album’s great. I finally got round to getting the new Arcade Fire album as well, which is wicked and slightly reminds of Smashing Pumpkins in some bits.
Your debut album ‘Welcome Reality’ is finally going to be out soon after what has been not just a long wait for the fans but yourselves as well, what have you gained from when you started making it?
J: I would say patience definitely being one!. I guess one reason why the album took so long to come out was due to the success of ‘Me and You' which was mainly going to build us up from being an underground act and because it went down so well on the radio and in the press we actually thought, ah we can’t just release an album that’s going to be kind of underground thing, I mean we could in a sense but then as we’d gained so many new fans through the success of the song we thought it’d be better to release the singles like “Guilt” and now “Promises” just to keep the vibe up, but I certainly can’t wait for it to be released!
With the wait finally over and the album coming out, does it feel like a big weight off your chest already?
J: Definitely. Although we are happy in a way that we have waited because if we had done it all two years ago, it would have never had the impact that it’s having now. I mean it does certainly feels like a weight of our shoulders as we can’t wait to start writing new material, because in the studio the most fun you have is when you’re writing new tunes and ideas and thinking yeah this ideas great and that would sound great so we’re just looking forward to working on new material now.
Is there a few songs whilst you were creating the album that didn’t make the final cut that you may be releasing as well?
J: Yes there are probably three or four tunes that we made purely out of fun when we had the final tracklisting made so they will probably come out with single releases in the future.
Since you’ve started out as a group remixing different varieties of dubstep and drum and bass acts, what were your influences whilst you were creating the album?
J: There is quite a lot of different influences, there’s a lot of classical influences as we are quite into our classical music and we’ve put quite a few classical samples on the album, also we have some 80’s influences in a Vangelis/ Jan Hammer style as well. As it’s been a two-year work in progress there’s been so many different kinds of influences that have inspired the music.
At the moment, what are your favourite tracks off the album?
D: It’s quite hard to choose at the moment as we’ve just finished it, so at the moment we’re just taking a break from listening to it at the moment as we’ve been working on it for so long. I’m sure we’ll come back to it later with fresher ears and then look back and think yeah that track was definitely the one that stood out for me. Although ‘Me and You’ does hold a spot for us because it kicked off our album campaign and got us the attention that we’d never thought would happen.
Individually, What has been the favourite remix that you have done?
J: We’ve just done one for Calvin Harris’ ‘Feel so Close’ as we’ve spent a lot of time purely focusing on our album work and as it felt good to work with something new, so that is my favourite one at the moment because its having a great reaction, but my favourite one is our remix of The Streets ‘Blinded by the Lights’ as it helped push us forward.
D: For me at the moment it’d have to be our remix of Plan B’s ‘The Recluse’ as it’s got such a great reaction from fans and the crowd when we’ve played it live.